Affectionately titled “Love City,” Cruz Bay is always the first stop on a visit to St John. The town’s laid-back, carefree vibe, centered on a lively town square and an equally lively beach, draws visitors of all types from around the world.
Surrounded by hills dotted with hotels and apartments, Cruz Bay is the main town on sleepy St John. Within walking distance of the ferry docks, the town square holds many picturesque shops, small bars, and restaurants. Mongoose Junction, a colorful blend of Spanish architecture and Caribbean flavor, holds a collection of upscale jewelry and clothing shops. Other favorite shopping strips include Wharfside Village and King Street.
Just a mile from the ferry dock, you will find yourself at the Pastory Gardens: a tropical paradise full of banana trees, tropical flowers, trickling streams, waterfalls and the perfect view of St John and St Thomas. Stay for the afternoon and putt the 18-hole mini-golf course, and then enjoy a delicious lunch at the Pastory Gardens Bistro.
The town is also the main hub to organize hiking, snorkeling, boat charters, scuba diving, paddle-boarding, and other island activities. Hikers, especially, will find many stunning vistas on treks through the island or along the beach. A popular trail is the Lind Point Trail, which you can take from the Cruz Bay Visitor Center and connect to other trails. For a more relaxed tour of the island, catch a taxi at the town square for an inexpensive sightseeing trip to the island’s favorite attractions.